Vote at a polling station
Polling stations in Barnet
You can vote from 7am to 10pm on polling day at your polling station.
Before any election, always check your ward boundaries and the details on your poll card to see where you should be voting.
Poll cards will be sent to everyone who is registered and entitled to vote at an election.
Your poll card tells you your voting method and where your polling station is located.
You do not need your poll card to vote on polling day.
Voter ID at Polling Stations
Under the new Elections Act 2022, electors will be required to show photographic ID when voting at a Polling Station. This will affect any Elections held from May 2023 onwards.
If you are voting in the By Election for Golders Green Ward, you won't need photographic ID.
From May 2023, Electors will be required to identify themselves by showing an accepted form of photographic identification document before being issued with a ballot paper in a polling station at:
- parliamentary elections
- local elections in England
- local referendums in England
- London Assembly and Mayor of London elections
- Crime Commissioner elections in England and Wales
- UK wide national referendums
Expired photo identification will be accepted so long as the photo remains a good enough likeness from which to identify the elector.
Proxy voters will need to show their own photographic identification (not that of the elector they are voting on behalf of).
What identification will be acceptable?
There will be a wide range of photographic identification which will be acceptable. These include:
- driver’s licenses
- various concessionary travel passes
- PASS cards
- Ministry of Defence identity cards
- photocard parking permits issued as part of the Blue Badge scheme
What if I do not have any photo ID?
If an elector does not have any of the specified photographic ID they will be able to apply for a Voter Authority Certificate from their Local Authority.
The specific online portal is now available for electors to complete their details and submit to their Authority. This will be verified and a Voter Authority Certificate sent to them in the post.
Apply for photo ID to vote (called a ‘Voter Authority Certificate’) GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
Paper applications can be made available for electors who cannot go online.
The Voter Authority Certificate is valid for 10 years and can move with an elector should they move house (as long as they are registered to vote).
Polling station opening times
Polling stations are open at 7am and close at 10pm.
If you arrive at the polling station before 10pm and you are still waiting to vote at 10pm you will be allowed to cast your vote.
If you make a mistake on the ballot paper
If you make a mistake whilst marking your ballot paper in the polling station, you should ask the presiding officer for a replacement paper.
Your spoilt ballot paper will be taken from you and will not be placed in the ballot box.
Assistance with voting at polling stations
Every polling station in Barnet has:
- a device to help blind or partially sighted voters to vote unaided
- at least 1 large-print version of the ballot paper displayed inside each station to assist partially-sighted voters
- any voter with physical disabilities who is unable to vote without assistance or who is unable to read may be assisted either by a companion or by the presiding officer at the polling station
- polling stations are wheelchair accessible
Helping people with learning disabilities to vote
Mencap has produced an easy read guide to voting for people with learning disabilities. It explains how to register to vote as well as the different types of voting. It has been written together with the Electoral Commission.
In addition, Every Vote Counts have also created useful guides available on their website for people with learning disabilities.
Photos in a polling station
No photos are allowed in polling stations.
If you forget to return your postal vote
If you have applied to vote by post, you cannot vote in person at the polling station.
However, on polling day you can return your postal vote to a Barnet polling station before 10pm.
Your unique ballot paper serial number
The law requires every ballot paper has a unique serial number and a record is kept of the serial number of every ballot paper issued to every voter.
At the close of the poll, the documents which list the serial numbers of the ballot papers and the list of to whom they have been issued are sealed in special packets . The packets cannot be opened unless a court order is given to do so.
The reason this is done is to enable checks to be made should a legal challenge be made to the result of the election. It is possible in UK law for the result of an election to be challenged through what is known as an election petition.
It is possible for the eligibility of an elector's right to vote to be challenged in the courts after an election. If the challenge is successful, the court can order that:
- the ballot papers of any electors who were not eligible to vote be retrieved and their votes discounted
- the result of the election changed to reflect the removal of these votes from the total
This is a very unusual occurrence.
There are legal processes in place to protect the identity of electors and how they have voted from being discovered. It is only in circumstances where a court orders that it should be done.
There is only a very short period in which a challenge can be made 21 days from the date of the election. If no challenge is made in that period, all documents are subsequently destroyed.